Tens of millions of people may be tipped over the edge into food insecurity as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) António Guterres has warned.
Food insecurity in poorer nations has worsened, with some families not knowing where their next meal is coming from, he said.
Farm animals are already dying of hunger in these regions, he added.
The Russian invasion in Ukraine is amplifying and accelerating issues already driving world hunger, such as climate change, COVID-19 and inequality, Guterres said.
He argued that the pressure on markets must be reduced by increasing supplies of food and fertilisers.
"At today’s prices, farmers cannot afford seeds, fuel and fertilisers. Governments must be able to support them with subsidies and connect them to markets," he said.
The UN says around 20m tonnes of grain are currently stuck in Ukraine from the previous harvest.
"There should be no restrictions on exports and surpluses must be made available to those most in need," he said.
According to the UN, global hunger levels are at a new high. In just two years, the number of severely food insecure people has doubled, from 135m pre-pandemic to 276m today.
The war on Ukraine is senseless in its scope, ruthless in its dimensions and limitless in its potential for global harm
More than half a million people are living in famine conditions, an increase of more than 500% since 2016.
"The war on Ukraine is senseless in its scope, ruthless in its dimensions and limitless in its potential for global harm.
"We need quick and decisive action to ensure a steady flow of food and energy in open markets, by lifting export restrictions, allocating surpluses and reserves to those who need them and addressing food price increases to calm market volatility," he said.
The Secretary General said that if we do not feed people, we feed conflict.